Paphos– Ancient Centre of the Cult of Aphrodite
Paphos can be found on the south-western coast of Cyprus, around 30 miles (50km) to the west of Limassol. Before beginning your search for things to do in Paphos, you might like to know that the area around the town has been inhabited since Neolithic times (the period between (10,000 and 3000 BC), and the Paphos (or Pafos) region will be forever linked with the ancient goddess Aphrodite, who is said to have been born not far from ‘old’ Paphos at Petra tou Romiou (translated to Romios Rock).
Now a town of about 50,000 inhabitants, Paphos has a great many sites and attractions to enthral its visitors. Ancient history plays a big part in the town, and many of the most popular sites are historical in nature, from Roman mosaics to the medieval castle to the famed Tomb of the Kings.
But Paphos has its fair share of lovely beaches and beautiful coastline, with secluded coves and magnificent cliffs dominating this part of the island. And booking into one of the many hotels in this lovely part of the world allows you to explore the best beaches Paphos has to offer. Flights and holidays to this part of western Cyprus are plentiful, and Paphos hotels go out of their way to make guest feel right at home. And once there, a Paphos tour can take you to some great destinations, offering a visit that will live long in the memory.
Things to do in Paphos Right Now
Visit the Tombs of the Kings
Two kilometres to the west of Paphos Harbour is the Tombs of the Kings, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Despite the name, no kings were actually thought to be buried here, instead the tombs being the final resting place of ancient Paphitic aristocrats. The tombs have been cut into the rock.
Visit Paphos Castle
When looking for things to do in Paphos, visiting this magnificent castle means finding out about its interesting history. Originally constructed as a Byzantine fort for the protection of the harbour, it was rebuilt in the thirteenth century by the Lusignans, dismantled by the Venetians in the sixteenth century, then restored later by the Ottomans. Paphos Castle has been used as a fort, prison and even a warehouse during its almost 1000-year history.
Visit Coral Bay
Just over three miles to the north of the town is the wonderful beach known as Coral Bay. At around 600 metres in length and enclosed at either end by limestone rock formations, this Blue Flag beach is extremely popular with visitors to the area.
Visit the Baths of Aphrodite
Although actually located quite a trek from Paphos (about 25 miles north of the town, on the island’s north-western peninsula), the Baths of Aphrodite is a must-see for lovers of myth and legend. The ‘baths’ are actually a small grotto surrounded by fig trees, where legend has it the goddess Aphrodite used to bathe. Legend has it that she also met her lover Adonis here.
Featured Image (Paphos Harbour) – By Anna Anichkova – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0
Tombs of the Kings – By Mgiganteus1 at the English language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0
Paphos Castle – CC BY-SA 2.5
Coral Bay – www.thomson.co.uk
Baths of Aphrodite – By Bayreuth2009 (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons